The Working Group

The Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Prevention & Health Promotion Working Group has been launched and membership registration is now open!

NCDs are a rising epidemic worldwide. According to WHO, NCDs were responsible for 40.5 million or 71% of global deaths in 2016 (1). The main NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases. NCDs share four modifiable risk factors: physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, tobacco use, and harmful use of alcohol (1). The risk of NCDs is also increased by metabolic risk factors such as raised blood pressure and obesity. Obesity has almost tripled worldwide since 1975. In 2016, 1.9 billion adults over the age of 18 were overweight and 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese (2). In 2017, 3 million deaths globally were attributed to high blood pressure resulting from excess sodium intake (3).

This new WG will draw on synergies with other WFPHA working groups addressing the topic from different perspectives thus strengthening the Federation approach in tackling NCDs.

The WFPHA has recently hosted a webinar and is developing a policy on Front-Of-Pack (FOP) nutrition labeling, one of the policies recommended by WHO to promote healthy diets and contribute to the prevention of NCDs (4)(5). Additionally WFPHA has recently obtained formal Observer status at the international food standards agency, the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), and is making submissions on work to provide global guidance on FOP nutrition labelling.

The new working group activities will be in line with the WFPHA strategic plan and values and will promote effective policies to prevent NCDs, using a public health approach that promotes equity.

The NCDs Prevention Working Group will implement a three-step action plan, which will be in process for the first term, in order to promote the WFPHA mission by:

  1. Providing direct input to Codex on behalf of WFPHA and promote greater awareness among public health stakeholders of the role of Codex and how they can be engaged in its work on diet-related NCDs
  2. Providing inputs and supporting the implementation of the new WFPHA Policy on FOP nutrition labelling
  3. Advocating and joining missions with the WHO Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs (GCM/NCD)

The proposed Chair is Alexandra Jones, currently WFPHA delegate at Codex. Alexandra is a public health lawyer and PhD Candidate in food policy, leading work on regulatory strategies to prevent diet-related disease at The George Institute for Global Health in Australia.
The proposed Co-Chair is Chantal Julia, from the French Society of Public Heath. Dr. Chantal Julia is an Associate Professor in Nutrition at Paris 13 University holding a PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology. She focuses on policies in nutrition and evaluation of front-of-pack food labels.

Confirmed members

  1. Lorena Rodríguez Osiac (University of Chile)
  2. Anna Pinheiro (University of Chile)
  3. Tito Pizarro (University of Chile)
  4. Mary R. L'Abbe (Canadian Public Health Association)
  5. Mike Rayner (UK - Faculty of Public Health)
  6. Cliona Ni Mhurchu (New Zealand)
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